Kimi Räikkönen & Sebastian Vettel

Kimi Räikkönen & Sebastian Vettel

maanantai 9. heinäkuuta 2018

British GP: Sebastian ended Mercedes' 5-year winning streak at Silverstone!

I was watching the British GP at hospital again. And what an unbelievable race it turned out! My son felt a bit ashamed, because I was shouting and screaming when watching the race! Luckily we didn't have a room mate this time, but my son was worried, that other patients could still hear my screaming ;)

So let's get back to the very beginning. Lights went out at scorching Silverstone, and Sebastian from P2 took a rocket start. Pole-setter Hamilton got the worst start of the top three and was immediately in trouble. Sebastian snatched the lead, and was followed by Mercedes' Bottas. Hamilton was left third and Kimi fourth. But what a drama there was in Turn 3! Kimi ended up braking too late, which led into a lock-up. The Iceman then hit Hamilton's Mercedes, which caused the Briton to spin. Kimi maintained his P4, but Hamilton dropped down to P17. The incident was taken into investigation by the stewards, and Kimi was handed a 10-second time penalty for causing the collision. The penalty was a little inconsistent, as teammate Sebastian had been handed a 5-second time penalty for a similar incident in France.

Sebastian started to open a gap to Bottas, and soon the gap was already 5 seconds. Hamilton started rapidly to make his way through the field, although the quadruple world champion repeatedly complained on the team radio, that his car didn't feel good. By lap 11 the Briton had made his way up to P6 already. Kimi wasn't happy about his car, either. The Iceman complained on the team radio, that he had no front end in his SF71-H. Kimi pitted on lap 14. He first suffered his 10-second time penalty, and then switched to the white-walled medium rubber. Kimi's pace was absolutely stunning after the pit stop. Everything seemed possible for the storming Iceman.

The Red Bull  duo of Verstappen and Ricciardo pitted on the sequential laps, both for a fresh set of mediums as well. Unfortunately both drivers re-joined the track ahead of Kimi, Verstappen having the upper hand on his teammate. Sebastian pitted on lap 21, opting also for the medium rubber and re-joining the track just barely ahead of Hamilton. Bottas, who had been leading the race for a moment, pitted on the following lap for a similar tyre choice. The Finn dropped down to P3, but teammate Hamilton hadn't pitted yet. The Briton was called in on lap 26, and he re-joined the track behind Kimi in P6.

Sebastian was now leading the race, but the runner-up Bottas was only 2.7s behind the German. Kimi in P5 was only 1.5s behind Red Bull's Ricciardo. However, something unexpected happened on lap 31. Red Bull called Ricciardo in for the second time. The Australian switched to the yellow-marked soft compound and re-joined the track in P6.

Lap 33 was a turning point in the race. Sauber's Ericsson had his DRS open when coming into Turn 1, and the Swede lost control of his Sauber, crashing into the tyre wall in high speed. Luckily Ericsson got away from the shunt unharmed, as it was a fiery looking crash. Safety car was deployed. Both red-suited drivers and Red Bull's Verstappen pitted during the safety car, all opting for a fresh set of soft Pirellis, but both Bottas and Hamilton stayed out. They actually didn't have a choice, as they had already run out of fresh soft tyres. Bottas was now leading the race.

The re-start took place on lap 38. And what a breath-taking re-start it was! Bottas maintained his lead, with Sebastian right at the Finn's tail. Kimi was having an electrifying wheel-to-wheel battle with Red Bull's Verstappen for P3. The Iceman squeezed it past the Dutchman, but Max wasn't going to let his 3rd place to be taken away from him. It was a heart-stopping battle between the two top drivers!

Almost immediately after the re-start there was drama again. Renault's Sainz made a move on Haas' Grosjean, but the manoeuvre led into a collision between the two. Both drivers were out of the race, and the incident brought out the safety car, again!

The second re-start took place on lap 41. Bottas was leading the race, with Sebastian second and Hamilton third. Verstappen was fourth, Kimi fifth and Ricciardo sixth. Right from the re-start Sebastian was hungry to get past Bottas. The German was lurking patiently for an opportunity to attack the Finn. Both Ferrari aces were absolutely on flames, as Kimi had decided to snatch the third place from Verstappen permanently and make it on the podium. And on lap 43 it happened, Kimi squeezed it past Verstappen, moving third! What a superb move from the Iceman!

The last 10 laps were such an amazing thriller. Sebastian was putting huge pressure on the race-leader Bottas, and Kimi had smelled Hamilton's blood, being right at the home hero's tail. Such a close and intense fight between four drivers we haven't seen for a long time! My heart was pounding and I was screaming "Get past Sebastian!" and "Go for it, Kimi!" It was just perfect Formula 1 action really!

On lap 47 Verstappen spun and lost the position to teammate Ricciardo. Verstappen was having a brake issue, and unfortunately it ended the race for the Dutchman. Meanwhile, Sebastian had found the perfect attack mode and made a move on Bottas, snatching the lead! Wow, what an amazing move from Sebastian! Bottas on his out-worn tyres had nothing he could do to defend his lead. Soon after that also teammate Hamilton passed Bottas, who was severely struggling with his tyres. In no time also Kimi made it past his fellow countryman, who had faced a dramatic drop from the lead down to P4.

I was shouting for joy, as Sebastian crossed the finish line as the race winner, ending Mercedes' 5-year winning streak at Silverstone. Hamilton's P2 was a stunning result after the first-lap incident, which had dropped him down to the back of the pack. I was absolutely delighted to see Kimi on the podium, as the Iceman had fought like a lion in the race. Eye-catching is the fact, that Kimi has been on the podium in every three races of the triple header! Bottas finished disappointing fourth. Ricciardo finished fifth for Red Bull and Hulkenberg sixth for Renault respectively. By winning at Silverstone, Sebastian extended his lead to 8 points in the drivers' championship standings. Ferrari have now a 20-point lead to Mercedes in the constructors' standings. Very well done from the Red Team indeed!

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